Disaster

Jonathan Willis
November 09 2013 03:09PM

The Edmonton Oilers had a chance on Saturday to pick up two points from one of the league's worst teams. They had healthy bodies back, the Flyers had lost two straight, and this game represented a real opportunity to start things turning around after a strong effort in a win over Florida and a stronger one in a loss to Tampa Bay.

It didn't happen.

Losing Badly

It's not just that the Oilers lost, or who they lost against, but how they lost. Some fans will want to place the blame on Devan Dubnyk - who was actually reasonably solid until that fourth goal - or on the referees for mistakenly assessing a major penalty against an innocent Anton Belov.

But the real problem was the skaters. The following chart shows on-ice scoring chances at even-strength for the Oilers forwards against Philadelphia, as counted by me.

Player EV+ EV- Percentage
Luke Gazdic 0 1 0.0%
Jordan Eberle 1 7 12.5%
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1 6 14.3%
Boyd Gordon 1 4 20.0%
Ryan Smyth 1 4 20.0%
Taylor Hall 4 8 33.3%
Jesse Joensuu 1 2 33.3%
Mark Arcobello 2 4 33.3%
Sam Gagner 4 6 40.0%
Ales Hemsky 5 7 41.7%
David Perron 3 3 50.0%
Nail Yakupov 2 1 66.7%

And for the defence:

Player EV+ EV- Percentage
Nick Schultz 1 6 14.3%
Taylor Fedun 1 5 16.7%
Andrew Ference 2 9 18.2%
Jeff Petry 2 7 22.2%
Philip Larsen 6 6 50.0%
Anton Belov 6 5 54.5%

For the most part, it was the Oilers' best players getting killed against the Flyers. Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall all had among the worst marks on the team in this regard. These are the guys that typically push results - and did last year, even as the rest of the team gave everything back and then some. On defence, the Oilers top pairing of Andrew Ference and Jeff Petry were lit up, too.

The Oilers play in Chicago tomorrow. It seems unlikely to go well.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#201 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 09 2013, 06:41PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

That's correct...not enough fights aren't helping him either. Soft defensemen are not helping him either. Centres who don't back check are not helping him either. And a team still learning a rookie coaches systems are not helping either. And small players who lose puck possession battles are not helping either. And centres who can't win face offs aren't helping him either.............and NONE of these things are intangible. What's truly intangible is your misuse and abuse of statistics.

And I'm not defending Dubnyk...I think he's missed his window of opportunity....but what I am defending is people who talk about non numerical tangible events against people like you who condescendingly speak about these events as if they have no consequence. In my opinion, you need to be more disciplined. And I'm not ramming this down your throat, I'm open to discussing it.

Well, I'm not defending Dubnyk either.

And, I'm not saying something like "confidence" shouldn't be open to discussion…

I'm just saying we should be more modest about assuming a casual relationship about something we can know very little about, i.e., another person's psychological state and it's affect on performance.

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#202 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 09 2013, 06:47PM
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@Alsker

I used to think that way too, my friend. I can't cheer for another team with any real conviction, I've bled Oil for too long. But after the last few years, I've started watching real teams just for the hockey. Greatest game on Earth!

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#203 God
November 09 2013, 06:52PM
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I read this on TSN today. Made me quite sad, because it's totally true.

"rockmesockme 2 hours ago

I'm done. I liked to come here and take shots at the Oilers because I thought that they would be a formidable team this year. This isn't fun anymore. Honestly, this is an unmitigated disaster. No fan of any team deserves this"

Shame on Oilers management for allowing this cluster-f@ck.

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#204 Kirk brackenberry
November 09 2013, 06:58PM
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@God

Really sad thing is this could just be the start of it...and the same people who created it are steering it still...fcuk

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#205 DK0
November 09 2013, 07:03PM
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Can we get an article about how the Oilers are really nice guys? I mean look how happy Giroux is!

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/1466056_762457317102804_2079326028_n.jpg

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#206 Serious Gord
November 09 2013, 07:03PM
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Leafs/Bruins = enjoyable hockey

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#207 Seriously
November 09 2013, 07:03PM
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Next game against Chicago... (heavy sigh!!) wonder if the oilers are feeling like a heard of cattle off to the slaughter house!! When SC shows a view of the players on the bench, they look look so rejected. Zero confidence! Painful!

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#208 Alsker
November 09 2013, 07:09PM
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Kirk brackenberry wrote:

Really sad thing is this could just be the start of it...and the same people who created it are steering it still...fcuk

Even if the ship is upside down(had quick flashback to MADS poopside down adventure), as long as it remains afloat(profitable) will they even care?

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#209 Bryzarro World
November 09 2013, 07:27PM
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Clarko wrote:

Because firing our coach has worked brilliantly the last 4 times we did it...

It would have if we hired the right guy. Klowe might know about "winning" but he knows jack about hiring a coach...

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#210 Cameron
November 09 2013, 07:36PM
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"Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore!"

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#211 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 07:51PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I think suggesting it is more likely a goaltender in a long slump (with no evident injury and not at the age one usually sees performance falter) will regress to the mean is a pretty modest and qualified statement.

No one is making some bold, radical suggestion here.

And, I don't see anyone discounting "fighting spirit." I would however, challenge the bias that is ever prevalent when such things are doled out at the lunch counter.

Hey Rom, I have no issue with regression to the mean......I'm just asking that you and others in the Stats Pack, and I use the term respectfully, would give a little more consideration to qualifying the conclusions you draw from statistics, or perhaps more importantly, the conclusions you draw regarding events that are typically viewed as non statistical or unmeasurable. While these events may not fall in your bailiwick, they are real, and of sincere importance to others, like me.

I highly value the role age, experience, size, character, desire, courage, aggression, toughness, emotion, selflessness, coaching, player development, coordinated team play, etc have to play in the game. And to be summarily dismissive of these factors because we can't easily measure them is both closed minded and irritating.

So all I'm really asking is for a little awareness that this is how some people perceive the game and derive their enjoyment of the game.

Please and thank you, ORG

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#212 Harlie
November 09 2013, 07:53PM
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Poor drafting. Poor development. Poor depth. Poor top 6. Poor D. Poor Goaltending. Poor Coaching. Grebeshkov.

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#213 DSF
November 09 2013, 07:55PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Hey Rom, I have no issue with regression to the mean......I'm just asking that you and others in the Stats Pack, and I use the term respectfully, would give a little more consideration to qualifying the conclusions you draw from statistics, or perhaps more importantly, the conclusions you draw regarding events that are typically viewed as non statistical or unmeasurable. While these events may not fall in your bailiwick, they are real, and of sincere importance to others, like me.

I highly value the role age, experience, size, character, desire, courage, aggression, toughness, emotion, selflessness, coaching, player development, coordinated team play, etc have to play in the game. And to be summarily dismissive of these factors because we can't easily measure them is both closed minded and irritating.

So all I'm really asking is for a little awareness that this is how some people perceive the game and derive their enjoyment of the game.

Please and thank you, ORG

Nice.

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#214 Oilcruzer
November 09 2013, 08:00PM
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@DSF

Duplicate

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#215 Oilcruzer
November 09 2013, 08:01PM
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@DSF

"Anyone who has played competitive sports will be able to tell you that confidence is a major factor in performance..."

100% agreed DSF.

I would go so far as to say "...confidence is the leading factor in performance in professional sports..."

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#216 DSF
November 09 2013, 08:08PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

"Anyone who has played competitive sports will be able to tell you that confidence is a major factor in performance..."

100% agreed DSF.

I would go so far as to say "...confidence is the leading factor in performance in professional sports..."

Yep.

But there are some folks who will tell you that, since it can't be measured, it isn't important.

You would think they would take the time to ask some athletes about that before proclaiming it a non factor.

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#217 Hockey Problems
November 09 2013, 08:16PM
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Overwatchedandunderpaid wrote:

People can keep complaining about the coaching but there has to come a time as fans that you realize that after all the coaching changes in the past couple of years and the same results that its not the coaches problem. Every year we get a new coach and we get air in our sails and we are filled with positive messages from the coach and we agree with what he says but when the season starts everything falls apart and who else is there to blame but the coach. We can throw any coach under this awful team right now and it wont change the results. The players have to want to play and want to compete to be successful. Until you have that you can throw as many coaches into the fire as you want, nothing will change.

.

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#218 Serious Gord
November 09 2013, 08:37PM
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Overwatchedandunderpaid wrote:

People can keep complaining about the coaching but there has to come a time as fans that you realize that after all the coaching changes in the past couple of years and the same results that its not the coaches problem. Every year we get a new coach and we get air in our sails and we are filled with positive messages from the coach and we agree with what he says but when the season starts everything falls apart and who else is there to blame but the coach. We can throw any coach under this awful team right now and it wont change the results. The players have to want to play and want to compete to be successful. Until you have that you can throw as many coaches into the fire as you want, nothing will change.

Coaching is not the sole reason why this team is playing badly, but it is definitely a factor. The fact that Eakins is disappointing shouldn't come as a surprise - look at who hired him - the same set of cronies who hired the previous failures.

So let's not be stymied by past failures. The oil should make the changes needed whatever they might be. I bet you know where I would like to start...

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#219 outdoorzguy
November 09 2013, 08:52PM
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That's it. Just rush back to Rexall Place because you haven't seen the team live for for 5 games. Keep filling those seats. Keep filling Kat'z's pockets!!

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#220 Harlie
November 09 2013, 08:59PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Thank you. I think I'm sobering up now.

As my buddy Corb says, 'it's time to switch to whiskey u been drinkin beer all night'

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#221 outdoorzguy
November 09 2013, 09:02PM
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Whenever Ryan Rishaug talks about Oiler players on the TV he refers to them with first and last names or last names only. But when he talks about them on local Edmonton radio he always uses first names only. Too close to the players Rishaug to be impartial? Are you a real live hockey card collector just like Katz?? Either way, this team sucks, and has sucked for the last 15 years. Is anything going to be done about it? I doubt it as long as everyone keeps going to the games and buying the jerseys. Wake up people, stay away, revolt, ask for what you deserve. I you keep putting $$$$$$ in the pockets of Vancouver Katz, he doesn't care. Boycott games, boycott Rexall Place, stop going to preferred Oiler restaurants and stop buying jerseys. MY GOD, WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!

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#222 Phil
November 09 2013, 09:12PM
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When does management get to go through their rebuild?

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#223 Hemmercules
November 09 2013, 09:24PM
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God wrote:

These 4-2 games are irritating. I preferred it when they'd get lit up 5-0 and 4-0 by the Wings & Leafs. Hopefully the players revolt completely soon.

I guarantee that if you asked everyone in that dressingroom if they'd like to play in a different city. They'd all say definitely.

Ugh. We all know they are probably thinking it, at least some of them anyway. Way too depressing to even think about.

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#224 RexHolez
November 09 2013, 09:36PM
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Here's what will happen. Bryzgalov will come in, be marginally better then the echl level dubnyk, and the team will lose slightly less games then they currently lose. All the media will praise bryzgalov and point out his average level stats and will call to resign him to a multi year deal. Then next year they'll keep losing like the losers this team is. Finally Katz will have no other option but to finally get rid of Lowe. Then an actual rebuild will start and 4-5 years from now this team won't be as bad of a joke as they currently are. Years away but it will come

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#225 Smokey
November 09 2013, 09:43PM
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Primo wrote:

Bad Team and Bad Goaltending on Eakins???? You must be Kevin's first nephew !

Just what the doctor ordered...5 coaches in 6 years. Way to go!

If your argument is oh we can't have another coach, so we have stick with a guy who has this team outta the playoffs by November. Are you serious.

Its more then just the coach, I admit. The team has quit, can you not see that? So lets watch them quit for the remainder of the year, lets watch them quit next year. Confidence is gone, and you have to start looking forward to next year cause common sense says its over.

I say get a coach with track record, revamp this team starting now, and build a group for next year. They make same mistakes every game. One offensive player is playing with confidence. You got three goalies with no confidence. Your defence is suspect outside of Petry and maybe Larson. So ya you got three players playing well, lets continue this trend. And lets throw in a media darling who hates winters, and has a fear of bears, and can't stop pucks. And your argument is we can't have another coach. Brilliant. Any other intelligent comment.

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#226 RexHolez
November 09 2013, 09:44PM
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Apparently 8 straight years of being a bottom feeder isn't enough to realize the people in charge have lost touch of today's game. They need to sink lower than low to the point that it physically hurts. They need to fail on an epic level like they have the last few years before changes are truly made

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#227 BleedOil4Life
November 09 2013, 09:46PM
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@outdoorzguy

I'm so sick of people saying this crap....name a city or a fan base that has done this Enough!!

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#228 BleedOil4Life
November 09 2013, 09:50PM
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We are bad because out veteran depth is crap

Jones Eager Smyth Smid (gone) Hemsky

These guys do not lead this team They do not know how to win...we get down a goal These "vets" shut down before the kids do

You look at all the top teams....what do they have?? QUALITY DEPTH AND VETS!

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#229 Smokey
November 09 2013, 09:54PM
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Overwatchedandunderpaid wrote:

People can keep complaining about the coaching but there has to come a time as fans that you realize that after all the coaching changes in the past couple of years and the same results that its not the coaches problem. Every year we get a new coach and we get air in our sails and we are filled with positive messages from the coach and we agree with what he says but when the season starts everything falls apart and who else is there to blame but the coach. We can throw any coach under this awful team right now and it wont change the results. The players have to want to play and want to compete to be successful. Until you have that you can throw as many coaches into the fire as you want, nothing will change.

Colorado. Rest my case.

Change the coaches, change the management. Lets start winning.

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#230 DSF
November 09 2013, 10:22PM
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So, just what the Kings needed...two more high end forwards in Toffoli and Vey.

Jeebus.

They'll be dominant for years.

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#231 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 09 2013, 10:27PM
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DSF wrote:

So, just what the Kings needed...two more high end forwards in Toffoli and Vey.

Jeebus.

They'll be dominant for years.

Unending dominance.

They are the cycling version of the Wings.

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#232 DSF
November 09 2013, 10:39PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Unending dominance.

They are the cycling version of the Wings.

Beyond that.

The Wings on steroids.

This is their putative centre depth.

Kopitar

Richards

Carter

Stoll

Nolan

Toffoli

Lewis

Fraser

Weal

Now, obviously, they all can't play C at the NHL level but, in reality, they have 8 NHL calibre centres. 8.

Someone knows how to draft.

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#233 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 09 2013, 10:43PM
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@DSF

The Wings have been a top calibre team for 2 decades now. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The Kings are better now and have a brighter future and look built to last… but who knows what the future holds.

Kings drafting… something special.

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#234 Rod from Viking
November 09 2013, 10:49PM
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DSF wrote:

Beyond that.

The Wings on steroids.

This is their putative centre depth.

Kopitar

Richards

Carter

Stoll

Nolan

Toffoli

Lewis

Fraser

Weal

Now, obviously, they all can't play C at the NHL level but, in reality, they have 8 NHL calibre centres. 8.

Someone knows how to draft.

Carter, Richards and Fraser were trades that LA won.

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#235 Rod from Viking
November 09 2013, 10:50PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Carter, Richards and Fraser were trades that LA won.

Oh and Stoll, who were the dummies that traded him?

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#236 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 09 2013, 10:50PM
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@Rod from Viking

He's obviously not saying they were all drafted by the Kings...

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#237 IsaacsRevenge
November 09 2013, 10:51PM
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Smokey wrote:

If your argument is oh we can't have another coach, so we have stick with a guy who has this team outta the playoffs by November. Are you serious.

Its more then just the coach, I admit. The team has quit, can you not see that? So lets watch them quit for the remainder of the year, lets watch them quit next year. Confidence is gone, and you have to start looking forward to next year cause common sense says its over.

I say get a coach with track record, revamp this team starting now, and build a group for next year. They make same mistakes every game. One offensive player is playing with confidence. You got three goalies with no confidence. Your defence is suspect outside of Petry and maybe Larson. So ya you got three players playing well, lets continue this trend. And lets throw in a media darling who hates winters, and has a fear of bears, and can't stop pucks. And your argument is we can't have another coach. Brilliant. Any other intelligent comment.

Gotta agree here, I don't think this has ever been the right team for a coach without experience. Maybe MacT was smoking what was given to him, but I would not be afraid to ditch this coach for someone who knows how to introduce system play at an NHL level. Your reason can't be 'not again' or 'we did that too much already'. No offense, Eakins, because you didn't know what you were going into. And maybe Mac didn't either, I can stomach that. I think you are doing Eakins and the Oilers a favour by finding someone with experience, otherwise you might wreck the coach, the team and the organization even more. Stop the bleeding.

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#238 Rod from Viking
November 09 2013, 11:21PM
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DSF wrote:

Yeah, Lombardi also wins trades.

Don't forget Stoll and Greene for Visnovsky who turned into Whitney who turned into SFA.

I know,my therapist wants me to forget this trade as well as Brodziak and letting Glencross go for nothing, SFA? South Florida ALLwashed up? Sweet F--- All.

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#239 walter white
November 10 2013, 01:41AM
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God wrote:

I'm calling for Lowe, MacT & Eakins with the rest of the coaching staff to resign. Then we can begin a rebuild that keeps Perron, Gordon, Arcobello, Hall & Belov.

Mac T brought in 4 of the guys you want to keep he needs to stay...and Eakins need for time, The rest can go

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#240 Jofa
November 10 2013, 03:25AM
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Sure am glad we rushed these guys into the NHL. Imagine how much better this team could have been if we transitioned them into professionals rather than dropping junior players onto the team and expecting them to lead us to the promised land.

Extremely disappointing how this rebuild opportunity is being squandered. These seasons of failure and ineptitude make the Atlanta Thrashers look like an enviable team building approach, and GMs like Jay Feaster look like geniuses. What a waste this is turning out to be.

It's in Katz's hands now, which doesn't give me much comfort. Please, clean house and bring in some experienced hockey minds to run this team, preferably with no connection to the Edmonton glory years, before it is too late to salvage this rebuilding disaster.

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#241 spliff
November 10 2013, 03:57AM
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I am losing interest, not just in the season, but in this franchise. I've been a loyal fan my whole life, but not getting a sniff of playoff hockey for 8 years is killing it for me. Whats the point in cheering for a team with such incompetent management, that they can't get their team in the playoffs once in awhile. I'm lucky I live overseas and can tune it out pretty easily if I want to. I've always been a very loyal fan buy watching your team lose all the time, year after year, is boring. I have no trust anymore in any of the managers of this team. I think they honestly don't have a f*cking clue what they are doing, and they have turned this once respected franchise into a joke of the league. The product is not entertaining anymore, but only pathetic.

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#242 Spydyr
November 10 2013, 05:22AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

No one implied that was a necessary eventuality.

However, it is a great deal more probable than his historical play suddenly and forever cratering.

Every player eventually craters.That is why they retire.Some younger then others.

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#243 Spydyr
November 10 2013, 05:27AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

One of those "intangibles" I keep hearing about.

Not enough fights probably aren't helping him either :)

Somewhere there must be a nice chart that shows intangibles .We all know stats tell the whole story.The game is played on the ice not on a spreadsheet.

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#244 Spydyr
November 10 2013, 05:40AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Vis was probably a saw-off, if not a win for the Oil…

Whitney… good god, a calamity... though I don't recall Lombardi being involved in that trade :)

What is "SFA"?

"Vis was probably a saw-off, if not a win for the Oil…"

Maybe on the stats spreadsheet .On the ice not even close.The Oilers have been looking for players like Stoll and Greene since Lowe sent them away for a puck moving defencman.They have not made the playoffs as they looked.

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#245 RexHolez
November 10 2013, 07:27AM
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I keep wondering why people keep watching, reading and posting about this pathetic team, then I remember that everyone always looks at an accident when driving by one.

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#246 Batfink
November 10 2013, 08:06AM
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So, I think what we're looking for is the 'common denominator'. When all the electrical outlets on circuit in your house stop working, can it be ALL the outlets (players) have failed? Possible, yes. Probable, no. So, what binds these outlets together? The circuit breaker (coach). You've discovered that you've put the wrong one in again, too light duty. Doesn't matter that you've changed it 3 times already in the last couple years. First one (PQ) is obsolete, can't buy it anymore. So you've replaced it with the second one (TR) that kinda works, but isn't great. The third one (RK) you barely use as you think you have found the perfect circuit breaker that says all the right things on the box. Only the manufacturers (GM) promises are BS. And you have to keep it for 4 yrs as it was expensive and on the credit. Get the right part for the job, doesn't matter how many you've had, do your homework do it right.

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#247 Rob Gilgan
November 10 2013, 09:07AM
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@Batfink

"So, I think what we're looking for is the 'common denominator'. "

The new common denominator is the arena downtown. Oiler fans will flock to it, regardless of the team's success on the ice. They'll keep buying seasons tickets because it's 'saving the downtown' and a great place to park their lift kit.

The kids, by the way, are the same thing. They don't have to win - we've already told them they're the best thing in hockey and they're making six mill apiece. People love to buy those jerseys and associate themselves wit that success.

Eberle jersey + jacked-up one ton + new arena = who needs a Stanley Cup (and what is that anyway?)

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#248 Loweblows
November 10 2013, 09:16AM
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It's official-these kids have been taught how to lose- can we get Krueger back yet?

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#249 Cold Hard Truth
November 10 2013, 09:32AM
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One more thing:

MacTavish will hold out on firing Eakins for as long as possible. To do so would be an admission of failure on his part. So if Eakins is indeed the problem, MacTavish won't solve it in order to save face.

Oilers fans need to stop filling up the building. If continue to do so, we deserve what we get. Katz is a business man. He does not care about your loyalty. When he starts seeing sales plummet, the Lowe regime will be out of there pretty darn quick.

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#250 Batfink
November 10 2013, 09:44AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Rob Gilgan wrote:

"So, I think what we're looking for is the 'common denominator'. "

The new common denominator is the arena downtown. Oiler fans will flock to it, regardless of the team's success on the ice. They'll keep buying seasons tickets because it's 'saving the downtown' and a great place to park their lift kit.

The kids, by the way, are the same thing. They don't have to win - we've already told them they're the best thing in hockey and they're making six mill apiece. People love to buy those jerseys and associate themselves wit that success.

Eberle jersey + jacked-up one ton + new arena = who needs a Stanley Cup (and what is that anyway?)

You forgot the affliction t-shirts and tap-out ball caps with straight peaks, lol. But I think you may be on to something.

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